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Fantasy Basketball: Waiver wire pickups heading into Week 6

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By Gabe Allen, RotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

Another week gone by means another batch of waiver wire recommendations. This week’s suggested adds feature a few players who are rostered in just under 50 percent of leagues. Some of these players won’t be available in more leagues than not for much longer.

All of which is to say, the fantastical free-agent tree is still ripe for the picking.

Without further ado, here’s the rundown on 10 players I’m endorsing heading into Week 6.

Desmond Bane, Memphis Grizzlies (49% rostered)

Bane has had a few bad showings over the last couple of weeks. Couple that with the recent return of Dillon Brooks and it’s not all that surprising to see fantasy managers selling their stock. However, the sophomore wing seems to have broken out of his slump and has played well in the last three games. It seems like De’Anthony Melton is going to be the Grizzly whose fantasy value takes a hit here, having failed to reach double figures in scoring in five straight contests while seeing less than 20 minutes three times during the same stretch.

Meanwhile, Bane may keep chugging along and ultimately maintain his current averages of 14.4 points (44.9% FG, 34.0% 3PT, 93.8% FT), 3.9 boards, 2.2 threes and 2.1 assists across 28.7 minutes per game. I’d argue there’s even hope for some offensive improvement. Possessing one of the world’s purest shooting strokes, Bane will likely nudge his three-point percentage closer to 40 as the season progresses.

Josh Hart, New Orleans Pelicans (49% rostered)

Thankfully, there’s no rule that says if you add Josh Hart you must watch the Pelicans sans Zion Williamson every night. Sporting averages of 11.4 points (50.0%, 40.0% 3PT, 78.1% FT), 6.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists to 1.3 turnovers, and 1.0 three in 29.6 minutes per game, there’s really no good reason why Hart is available in anywhere close to half of all fantasy leagues.

Devin Vassell, San Antonio Spurs (49% rostered)

Vassell has scored 18 points or more in three of the last four games. More importantly, perhaps, he has earned 30 minutes twice during this recent stretch.

While Vassell is averaging 25.8 minutes per game compared to 25.6 minutes for Doug McDermott and 23.2 minutes for Lonnie Walker, Vassell has been by far the best of the bunch thus far this season, posting 12.5 points (47.0% FG, 39.2% 3PT, 72.7% FT), 4.0 rebounds, 1.9 threes, 1.5 dimes compared to just 0.8 turnovers, 1.1 steals, and 0.7 blocks per game.

San Antonio Spurs guard Devin Vassell
Last call on Devin Vassell! (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

Vassell has been more efficient offensively than McDermott and Walker while bringing much more to the table defensively. As a result, he could be on the verge of breaking away from that pack, both in terms of playing time and production.

Monte Morris, Denver Nuggets (48% rostered)

Morris (leg) has scored in double figures in five of the last six games while averaging just under five dimes per game during the same stretch. He got off to an awful start this season, but Morris is rounding into form and helping the Nuggets weather the storm with Michael Porter Jr. (back) and Jamal Murray (knee) both sidelined for the foreseeable future — despite dealing with a nagging injury himself. Though Morris is more valuable in category formats than points leagues, he has earned at least 30 minutes in six of the last seven games and has upped his counting stats accordingly. Regardless of format, don’t be afraid to throw Morris in the blender.

Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers (43% rostered)

Love (protocols) has combined for 28 points, 16 boards, five treys, and four dimes across 43 minutes during his first two games back in the rotation. With Evan Mobley (elbow) and Collin Sexton (knee) out for a while and Jarrett Allen (illness) and Lauri Markkanen (conditioning) on the mend as well, Love is minimally a decent streamer for the next couple of weeks, although it seems unlikely that he’s going to end up playing heavy minutes at any point, as he is yet to exceed 24 minutes in a single game this season.

Larry Nance, Portland Trail Blazers (43% rostered)

Small sample size alert! Over the last two games, Nance has notched 31 points, 14 boards, five dimes, three steals, three treys, and one block across 48 minutes. Just when it seemed as though third-year forward Nassir Little was on the verge of leapfrogging the veteran in the rotation and fantasy relevance, Nance has stepped up with a pair of strong outings.

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If Nance never sees an increase in minutes, he might not have enough upside outside of deeper leagues, but his playing time has been on the rise lately; he has earned at least 20 minutes in five straight contests after seeing less than 20 minutes in two of the first 11 games this season.

Pat Connaughton, Milwaukee Bucks (33% rostered)

Connaughton is collecting career-high averages of 11.5 points, 4.9 boards, 2.6 threes, and 0.9 steals across 29.9 minutes per game. The eventual returns of Donte DiVincenzo (ankle) and Brook Lopez (back) could cut into Connaughton’s playing time, but he has earned a consistent role on this club thanks in large part to his postseason contributions during the recent title run.

Cam Reddish and Kevin Huerter, Atlanta Hawks (27% rostered)

De’Andre Hunter (wrist) might miss the next two months, and Reddish and Huerter will be the primary beneficiaries from a fantasy standpoint. I can’t say I have more faith in one than the other. Reddish is the more reliable source of steals while Huerter is a better distributor. Both can fill it up as scorers on any given night. Can’t decide between the two? Flip a coin or go with your gut, but either way, add one of these two Hawks.

Grant Williams, Boston Celtics (4% rostered)

I’m not necessarily recommending Grant Williams as an immediate add, but do keep an eye on him. If Robert Williams (knee) misses an extended period of time at some point this season, Grant Williams could be worth a look, at least in deeper leagues. In the event that Robert Williams doesn’t recover as quickly as expected from what has been described as a minor injury, Grant Williams would be worthy of consideration as a streamer since the Celtics have four games on tap next week.

Enes Kanter has basically been glued to the bench this season, while Grant Williams is coming off a career-high 18-point performance during Wednesday’s loss to the Cavaliers. He slots in well at power forward next to Al Horford, providing steady defensive play with improved outside shooting.

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